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This review is from: Bambi (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Bambi by today's standards of scripting and animation can all too easily be dismissed as a naïve, cutesy Disney standard from a bygone era. However, it survives as a master class in animated film, a major influence on all that came after it, and without any doubt a masterpiece of its time. To demonstrate, here are the three major ingredients in an animated film - animation, story and music...
The animation is flawless, the character design impeccable, the backgrounds works of art. The fire, water and snow effects today would be credited to a Pentium Processor near you, but in Bambi's day were all lovingly crafted by pen and brush, and stand up admirably in direct comparison. The dreamlike variation of shades to convey moods and emotions is yet more artistic insight that soon became the norm.
Bambi's narrative might seem simple and linear today, but the basic values have been recycled by many modern animated classics. A young creature, son of the king, loses a parent, falls in love with a childhood friend, survives a fire in his homeland before rising to the top, fathering the next generation and completing the circle of life. Replace the B with an S and transpose the vowels... fluke? I think not.
Finally, and this is what is most criminally overlooked about Bambi, the music is utterly beautiful. It is quite possibly the best soundtrack in any Disney film. Disney regulars Plumb and Churchill and have made some wonderful music but this must be some of the best and most credible in its own right. If you like Tchaikovsy, it is worth buying this film just for the music; maybe even Stravinsky-lite by the end. The songs interspersing the orchestral score are truly uplifting and memorable - try getting April Showers out of your head in a hurry. The icing on the cake is the immaculate synchronisation with the animation, the way every note coincides with a footfall, a tail wag, a drop of rain; it must have been a painstaking labour of love.
Once you have collected all the Fliks, Nemos, Sullys and Woodys of this world on DVD, don't forget spare a few bob for dear old Bambi. This disc, with typically convincing Special Edition extras, is the one to buy.